Posts Tagged ‘Jack Layton’


August 30, 2011

Just a few days after Jack Layton’s funeral, new merger talk has broken out between the NDP and the Liberals.

On  his flight home from the funeral, former prime minister Jean Chretien boasted to a journalist that his plans for a Liberal-NDP merger would have stopped the Conservatives from taking power this year.

Denis Coderre is a heavyweight Liberal mp from Quebec.  He says “We have to hold a serious debate on the future of progressive forces in Canada.”  Mr. Coderre said negotiations could lead to a new party of Liberal Democrats or a coalition. “We are currently divided, and we have to look at all of the options.”

Liberal Justin Trudeau says he is not convinced of the benefits of a merger but he could change his mind.

Betweenoth Jean Chretien and former NDP leader, Ed Broadbent, favour a merger of the two parties.

Just a few years ago, Stephen Harper led the fight to unite the right between the Conservatives and the Reformers.  Look at Harper now.  He leads a majority Conservative government.

Is it time for some one like Bob Rae to grasp the nettle and unite the progressive left.

Will the NDP and the Liberals get anywhere separately?  Or will they just guarantee the Harper Conservative will stay in power indefinitely?

Should the NDP and the Liberals merge?

What do you think ?


August 27, 2011

You know the playbook on Canadians.  We are laid-back, reserved, undemonstrative, mildly socialistic,  usually back the United   States and when the chips are down we come on as dullards with phony humility just like Uriah Heep.

Well I  guess the emotional outpouring for Jack from coast to coast to coast put paid to most of the above.  I admit I  have never heard one of us talk about Canadian “exceptionalism.”  That is not our humility showing.  It just means we don’t buy into the American myth that God has chosen us to lead the rest of the world to freedom and salvation.  A second chosen people.  We will have none of that.

But bloodless and undemonstrative.  I don’t think so.  I never interviewed Jack Layton.  Never even met him.  So I was suprised to find myself choking up with emotion this past week as the tributes to Jack poured in from every corner of the country.

Mildly socialistic?  Did  you hear Stephen Lewis’ soaring speech and the part where he said, like Jack Layton, we must continue the work for social democracy.  Those words ignited a standing ovation.  Even Stephen Harper stood up.

“Jack, we hardly knew ye.”

But at the end we came to love  you.  RIP.

What does the outpouring about Jack Layton day about Canadians?

Were you emotionally touched?

Share with us.


August 22, 2011

NDP leader Jack Layton dies this morning from cancer at the age of 61.

Just a few months after leading the NDP to its greatest victory in federal politics, le bon Jack had the fruits of that victory suddenly snatched from him by death.

Did Jack Layton leave a political legacy.  Did he change the face of Canadian politics?

Certainly his victory in the last federal election was historic.  In addition he drove the Liberal party into a small redoubt from which they may never recover.

Layton, a Quebecker,  celebrated Quebec nationalism.  He talked about future taalks to bring Quebec into the constitution.  He was open to stronger language laws in Quebec to protect the French language.

He expanded many times over the reach of the NDP party in Quebec.

He reduced the Bloc Quebecois to a parliamentary rump.

He  established the NDP as the government-in-waiting in Ottawa.

Jack Layton’s political time was cut short.  But it seems to me he accomplished much.

Did Jack Layton leave a political legacy?

What do you think?


May 27, 2011

Almost half the NDP caucus in Ottawa comes from Quebec.  There is no doubt there are some sovereignists in this group.  Which is why NDP leader, Jack Layton, is struggling to clarify his position on Quebec’s separation from Canada.

After several false starts Mr. Layton has fallen back on the NDP’s Sherbrooke Declaration of some years ago in which the party outlined its position on Quebec separation.  The Declaration stipulates that in the event of another referendum, a federal NDP government would stand aside and let Quebec’s National Assembly draw up the referendum question , and that it would accept 50 plus one as a clear enough endorsement of succession.

When he was asked directly about this, Layton replied that the Sherbrooke Declaration stands as party policy.

Now there is no doubt that this policy on seccession is supported by all poilitical parties in Quebec (federalist or separatist).  Even federalist Quebeckers support the 50 plus one number.

Our friend, Tony Kondaks, expresses concerns about the NDP position in a well-crafted letter in this morning’s Gazette.  One of Tony’s major concerns is that the NDP policy would enable Quebec to make a unilateral declaration of independence.  That doesn not worry me much.  If the seccession proceedings ever got that far (which they won’t) the question is not whether Quebec would make a unilateral declaration of indpendence but whether anyone in the international would recognize such a declaration (absent a clear question and a clear majority).  I don’t believe they would.

Is 50 per cent-plus one enough for Quebec separation enough for Quebec separation?

What do you think?


April 28, 2011

Have you noticed how many commentators are now referring to the leader of the NDP as Prime Minister Layton ??  Well, it’s not exactly a joke.  The major polls are now showing the NDP in second place, just behind the Conservatives and well ahead of the Liberals.  And the NDP is number one in Quebec well ahead of all three other parties.

If these figures hold, Jack Layton will be leader of the opposition and he will have the most say about any coalition government of which he would be the head and prime minister.

Are we ready for socialism in this country?

Did you know that in the preamble to the NDP constitution, there is a discussion about nationalizing Canadian companies like Air Canada.  And that’s just for starters.  Under a socialist  NDP  government, services would expand, taxes would rise and the deficit would deepen.

In Quebec, Layton would reopen the constitutional question so that Quebec could sign on.  Also the NDP  would extend the regulations of Bill 101 to federal institutions in the province such as banking, transport and telecommunications.

Would you like to see the NDP become the official opposition?

Are we ready for socialism in this country?

What do you think?